[IPn] How it all began, part 4
We left off yesterday after winning a 15 month fight with Blue Shield
about paying for Lily's pump. A good win, and it helped the pocket
book as well. We also noted that at the time, there were only about
5,000 kids on pumps in the US and about 10,000 world wide.
Insulin Pumpers was going to help change that.
While the Blue Shield battle was ongoing, some one referred me to a
small mail group of 12 people that was started by a local Bay Area
gentleman named Glenn Yoder. You may recognize some of the names of
the original members, most are still on the Insulin Pumpers mail
The original 12 members were Glenn Yoder (founder of the mail group),
Jim Lieb, Deirdre Maislin, Vicki Baker (RoanokaRN), Tara Hart (not a
pumper but a friend that worked in the field), Bob Burnett, Rodney
Mead, Rosalind (Roz) Mincher, Susan May, Carolyn Allen, RN best
screen name = EUGLYCEMIA , Scott Fischell, not a pumper; however in
1984 he was the first Rep with MiniMed (actually Pacesetter back
then), Karla Leake, Sue Gullekson, Randy H, Darrel (Toby) Stone, and
Lily Robinton, my daughter. We chatted with each other on line by
copying the other 11 people in the group on the message, clumsy but
effective. Being a techy, I suggest that I could set up a mail server
at my office to accommodate the group and everyone was on board for
that. This was the rudimentary beginning of Insulin Pumpers (not yet,
As people heard about the group by word of mouth, we grew to 50 or
100 as I recall and by then the glimmer of and idea about a web page
had entered my mine to expand the reach and get the word out (my
word) about pumps for kids. Think back folks to the early 90's. The
internet was in its infancy. Hardly anyone had a web page, there were
a few online stores, nothing serious, and I think the eBay guy was
selling his PEZ containers about that time. The web page went up and
all of a sudden there were 500 members and after not to long, 1000.
At that point it I decided to start a non-profit to wrap around the
growing (what would you call it??) service... and Insulin Pumpers as
you know it today was born.
So after winning the Blue Shield battle, the folks at Minimed
starting referring parents of un-reimbursed pumpers to me for
assistance. I provided them with a road map of how to fight with
their insurance companies and I believe all of them eventually were
able to get their kid's pumps paid for. Five years down the road,
50,000 kids were on pumps in the US alone.
If we step back in time a bit to my daughter having insulin in her
pump for "maybe 15 minutes" and asking "Dad, can we go to McDonalds
and get an apple pie?"... I knew then that every kid with diabetes
should have a pump. 5 years later I was content with the fact that I
helped at least some of the 50,000 kids get a better life with
diabetes as my daughter was able to do.
The story makes it sound like this all happened fairly quickly but it
took a lot of work (two man year of software for the integrated
Insulin Pumpers web site and mail system) actually transpired over a
period of 4 or 5 years as Insulin Pumpers was officially incorporated
in 1998 (Lily was dx'd in 1993) but was in existence for quite a
while before that. A few more years went by before the 50,000 kids
number was reached, maybe 6 or 7 total. Hard to determine now in
hindsight with a 76yo fading memory LOL...
More tomorrow, I'll give you an update on Lily, now 37yo
So.. on to the pledge drive. There's $15 left on the challenge. Will
someone finish it off with a contribution?
Below is the info on how to donate, copied from yesterday's post.
lease support Insulin Pumpers with a contribution
to our pledge drive. Raising money is difficult and a small
contribution from you would help a lot.
A sustaining contribution of $5 or $10 a month would be amazing!
If you can't afford a monthly pledge, please make a contribution of
what you can afford, at least once a year.
To accept Southern Calif's offer to match their generous challenge:
To help in a big way with a donation of $100 or more, please
challenge the other members to match your generosity here:
Insulin Pumpers accepts, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AMEX and most
other credit and debit cards.
AND...Yes, Insulin Pumpers has joined the 21st century, we do accept
crypto currency, Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc....
...and not to be outdone, we accept JUNK CARS running or not, we'll
arrange to tow them away if necessary.
Whew!! that's a lot, but there's more... you can mail a check to:
558 Valley Way
Milpitas, CA 95035
My best regards,
For mail list removal write